Washington Bone Dry, Referendum 10 (1918)

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The Washington Bone Dry Act, Referendum 10 was on the November 5, 1918 ballot in the State of Washington as a veto referendum, where it ratified an act of the Washington State Legislature. The vote was considered a triumph for the prohibition movement.[1]

Election results

Referendum 10
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 96,100 63.89%
No54,32236.11%


A "yes" vote for a veto referendum is a vote in favor of the legislative act that those who collected signatures to force onto the ballot are hoping to overturn. A "no" vote is a vote against the legislative act that provoked the veto referendum.

In this case, Chapter 19, Laws of 1917 pertaining to the Bone Dry Act became law.

Background

Timeline

  • 1916: Neighboring Oregon passed a bone dry law. It prohibited any importation of alcohol and ended the state's alcohol permitting system.
  • January 8, 1917: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of bone-dry laws.
  • Early 1917: The Washington State Legislature considered HB 4, a bone-dry measure which would end the state's permitting system except for druggists and clergymen.
  • HB 4 reached the floor of the legislature with help from the Women's Christian Temperance Union and The Grange.
  • George Conger, president of the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) in Washington, thought things were moving too fast.
  • A legislator moved to amend HB 4 to place it before the people for a statewide vote as a legislatively-referred state statute, but this amendment was rejected.
  • The vote to pass HB 4 in the house was 75-18.
  • Only three senators voted against it. All of them were "dry"s who only objected to the refusal to submit it to a popular vote.
  • Gov. Lister signed the bill on February 19, 1917.
  • The next day -- February 20, 1917 -- opponents of the Bone Dry Act filed notice that they would circulate a petition to attempt to overthrow HB 4 through a popular vote.
  • While the petition was circulating, the federal government passed the Reed-Randall Bone Dry Act, which forbade permitting systems. Once this federal law passed, what happened with the Washington referendum was a moot point.

Alcohol on the Washington ballot

See also

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External links

References


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